“this is not a late arrival party!”

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A note from Ed Zeigler, two hours before the Artisphere Opening Gala, said “see you this evening, this is not a late arrival party!” This phrase exemplifies the kind of energy Ed brings to all of his endeavors, including the undertone of importance for the person, place, or project occupying his mind.

Ed has become part of the fabric of Greenville through his personal interest in the cultural climate of our city and its citizens, all while assisting in its physical transformation, over the last three decades, as an architect at Craig Gaulden Davis. His involvement in Artisphere is one example of his arts advocacy in addition to his 9-year tenure with Arts in Public Places. He has served on various committees for Artisphere, now a huge production that takes over most of  South Main Street and, this year, included 135 artists of the 1163 applicants. This kind of curation has brought Artisphere national acclaim for the quality of art on display and financial success for those whose work is accepted. The average revenue in 2017 was $9,150 with tens of thousands in attendance.

Ed’s big news is that he will be the next President of Artisphere, taking the reins in October of this year. Cue the fireworks! His leadership will focus on the continuation of the festival’s strategic plan, a task which includes recruiting committee members, fundraising, crafting the festival and learning from previous years to make each year better than the last.

For Artisphere’s 15th year, Ed will help bring another artist’s work to Greenville’s acclaimed collection of public sculptures. “Art”, he says, “broadens and improves one’s quality of life; it’s a free festival that allows art to be enjoyed and interpreted personally. And everybody needs to be exposed to that.” He says “he wants to make things better” for everyone, a mantra he carries and continuously enacts in all facets of his life and civic engagement.

Surge in High School Athletic Buildings

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Craig Gaulden Davis has enjoyed a recent surge designing high school athletic buildings. These aren’t the largest projects in the portfolio but they are fun, stand-alone buildings, with a relatively quick turn around, that act as the heart of many Upstate athletic programs. School colors on parade with mural sized mascot graphics keep team spirits high and uphold the long standing tradition of passionate interest in Upstate high school athletics.

The Mustangs, Tigers, Hurricanes and Bears of Anderson County high schools have all been the recipients of new athletic buildings. The Wren High School Hurricanes gained 11,950 square feet that includes a state-of-the-art weight room, training room, team room and lockers, as did Belton-Honea Path High School with 11,000 square feet and Crescent High School with 15,000 square feet. The Palmetto High School’s new 7,300 square feet of indoor turf will provide practice space for the cheerleader, football and wrestling programs.

No excuse now for the upcoming season. We’re cheering for them all!


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

This month: Gotta Have the Right Site!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

Location, location, location. The site of a building is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of any project, the greatest outside influence, both in potential design options and operationally over time. Many attributes of the site are permanent and unchangeable. If the design is for a prototype to be built on many different sites, like a branch bank, or franchise, the site may be the only distinguishing characteristic between two copies. In the case of a renovation, the existing building itself is its own site. Design is a dialogue of sorts between the existing conditions of the site, context, existing buildings, vision of the owner, and imagination of the designer.

What makes the “right” site? What Kirk meant was that a great project needs an appropriate setting. There are many examples of beautifully designed and detailed buildings on “wrong” sites. Sometimes we start a project with the program and are able to advise our clients as we evaluate different sites. More often, the site is a given. The solar orientation, views, adjacent roads, green space, water flows, are givens. Should the proposed building command the site, like the Parthenon on the Acropolis overlooking Athens, OR nestle into a hillside and be landscaped to blend in? Either way, the design must respond or choose to ignore, within limits, the attributes the site brings to the project. Asked another way, “The site, lot, land, existing building, etc. is a given – what can I do about it?”

First, as architects, we visit the site. Pretty basic, but surprising how often this first important step is skipped. You need to spend some time on-site observing. Each place is unique. Is it urban, suburban, or rural? South facing or shaded? Public or private? A design cannot respond to the context if it’s designed … wait for it… out of context. You can’t change where the sun tracks across the sky or whether there is an agreeable view. Listen. Look for natural features, research the history of the place, the geology, adjacent transit routes, view sheds, etc. Are there legal constraints? Wetlands? Incompatible neighbors or uses nearby? Consider where the people will arrive, park, walk, or view outside. A good reference guide for use on any project is the framework outlined in the Sustainable Sites credits in the LEED green building rating system.

Second, we consult with other professionals. At First Presbyterian Greenville, we helped the church expand by closing one block of a city street where the church owned all of the property on both sides of the street. Our site for the project was the vacated street, a parking lot, and a vacant bus station. Our civil engineer for the project, Joe Barron, said something like “Lay-people, meaning non-engineers, look out across the street and see wide open spaces. But a civil engineer looks out over the same street and sees an underground interconnected web of utilities, pipes, conduits, rights-of-way, easements, and drainage that all needs to be identified and either avoided, removed, or relocated and reconnected.” And we did.

Last, we stay flexible. When CGD was selected by Christ Church Episcopal School to help them plan for a new chapel, we looked at several sites on the 70 acre CCES campus for a new chapel. Initial thoughts were to place the chapel at a prominent entrance to the campus.

As design concepts started to evolve, the suggested siting of the chapel moved to be between two academic buildings. Ultimately, we helped the owner come to the consensus that the best site was in an existing quadrangle formed between the major academic buildings of the Lower, Middle, and Upper schools. The design solution evolved with each new site consideration and comments from the many stakeholders. With the chapel at the center of campus, at the crossroads of student traffic, CCES visibly reinforced their mission of Christian formation and values education.

I’ve heard more than one non-native English speaker refer to the “site” as the “situation”. I like that expression, in that it evokes a fuller understanding of the constraints, opportunities, history, and possibilities that each site or situation brings.

Obviously, depending on the situation.

Check back in June for Part IV: Gotta Have the Right Budget!

To read more about Kirk’s Paradigm click here.

The D in CGD

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Bill Davis grew up in Clinton, South Carolina, not far from Earle Gaulden’s hometown of Laurens. As a student of architecture at Clemson University in the late 50’s, he studied under Greenville practitioner and Clemson studio lecturer Kirk Craig. Graduation led to two years in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division where Bill says, despite being a track athlete in school, he really learned to run. After a few years interning in Charlotte, Bill received the phone call beckoning him home to the Upstate. He began work at Craig and Gaulden Architects on January 1, 1966. By 1978, the firm’s title bore his name, and Craig, Gaulden & Davis Architects had local and regional repute as a leading design firm.

Over the decades, Bill’s hand was instrumental in the design and realization of countless Upstate schools, his forte, and Greenville architectural jewels such as the County Museum of Art and the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. Bill recalls fondly his close bond with Kirk and Earle and acknowledges they simply had fun together. By the early 90’s though, Bill’s handiwork and passion in an admittedly disparate field began to prove ripe for business venture.

Bill’s son Tom began home brewing in the early 90’s. Following a successful Christmas party homebrew debut, Bill and Tom began brewing on a larger scale for a Greenville brewpub; interest and demand only grew. In 1998, Thomas Creek Brewery launched as a full-fledged microbrewery, one of the Southeast’s earliest entries into the craft beer scene. Bill began full-time management of the brewery in 2004. When asked to consider the unique design process and approach architects bring to problem solving and apply it to running a brewery, Bill candidly grants that it’s just different. But, his penchant for design and craft remain strong. He concedes that he still cannot walk into a building without forming a critique, and he still enjoys his longtime hobby of throwing pottery. Besides sharing the more impalpable legacy of Bill Davis, CGD and Thomas Creek are both proud to have some of his very tangible hand thrown mugs in the cabinets and behind the bar, respectively.

When encountering the humble and affable demeanor of Bill Davis, one might find that conversation easily drifts to stories about the amiable pack of dogs for whom Thomas Creek is a second home or Bill’s self-deprecating tales of navigating the three story home of his own design, built when he was admittedly more nimble. Yet, behind the congenial character and anecdotes is someone who has contributed lasting regional impact and pushed the envelope in the fields of building design and brewing. It’s only fitting that Bill’s first beer was enjoyed alongside his architecture studio professor and classmates at Clemson’s Esso Club in 1956, then a functioning service station serving beer out of the backroom. Though unwitting, all were witness to a brief microcosm of what would define Bill’s ensuing sixty-plus years: impactful architecture and great beer in the friendly environs of Upstate South Carolina.


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

This month: Gotta Have the Right Program!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

A building program or “brief” states the owner’s requirements for a project and presents the design problem in words, serving as a sort of “preamble” to the design effort. The “right” program, as it relates to Kirk’s Paradigm, is one that allows for creative interpretation, leaving room for the design process to bring about a more perfect solution. The “right” program says WHAT the product of the design process will be without prescribing exactly how it will be done in detail, e.g. an advanced manufacturing high school, a new worship space for a dynamic inner-city congregation or an adaptive re-use of a former mill building.

Programming is often compared to a recipe for a building. Like a recipe, a program contains a list of the ingredients, spaces and functions that must be part of the building. Like a great recipe, a great program is also the result of extensive research, personal experience, asking questions, and testing various combinations. A recipe prescribes exactly how to combine the ingredients, how long it should cook, and in what type of container. The goal of the recipe is to remove the guesswork and produce the same delicious results every time. This is where cooking and design part ways. Unlike a recipe, the right program is not so inflexible as to produce or replicate a presumed solution every time — unless, of course, you want cookie-cutter architecture. (Note: This is not a slam against design prototypes, replication, branding, pre-fabrication, etc., those are entirely different topics.)

Rather, I think the “right” program is more like the preamble to the Constitution, where the framework or ground rules are established for the design. The objective is to provide direction and freedom for the design team to perfect the design solution. The program should state the problem not the solution. Programming is the analysis of data, growth trends, usage patterns, personnel needs, and other issues to be considered while crafting a solution, whereas design is the synthesis of program elements into a cohesive solution. There is a natural tension between the analytical first step – programming — and the design process that follows. In a recent project for a small college, we helped guide campus planning decisions while programming for an arts center. Some program elements were removed from the new building program and conceptually placed elsewhere on campus thus altering the design. The seating capacity of the theatres also had to be considered as this has a ripple effect on all the support systems that are tied to the number of occupants, from the number of required parking spaces and size of the lobby to the width of stairs, the capacities of the HVAC systems, and the number of toilets.

The “right” program will also balance the quality and quantity with the budget for the envisioned project. We’ll dig into budget in a later post but it should be mentioned that programming is where we have the greatest leverage over construction cost.

Another type of “right” program could almost be called “no program”. Some owners are looking for ideas and concepts for a development, parcel of land, or a “test fit” — sort of combining programming and schematic design in a design dialogue where one informs the other. Not quite “I don’t know what I want or like, but I’ll know it when I see it”, but close.  This approach can work if a high level of trust exists between the architect and the owner, who is seeking his trusted advisor’s advice or “instincts”. Conversely, it can also work in a “courting relationship”, when the parties haven’t worked together before, but both understand that eventually, there will be a program that states what and how much.

With apologies to our forefather and my fellow architect, Thomas Jefferson:

“We the Architects, in order to design a more perfect Project, establish Function, insure spatial Proximity…”, you get the idea.

Check back in May for Part III: Gotta Have the Right Site!

To read more about Kirk’s Paradigm click here.

On The Mountain

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Craig Gaulden Davis (CGD) has been working on Roper Mountain since the late sixties. Bob Wilson Amphitheater came first followed by a string of buildings commissioned by Greenville County Schools on the wooded, 62-acre property. Over the next few decades CGD designed T.C. Hooper Planetarium, F.W. Symmes Hall of Science, and the renowned Charles E. Daniel Observatory, home to the nation’s 8th largest refractor telescope. Today, Roper Mountain Science Center is a well-established center for hands-on learning and an educational pillar in our community.

CGD continues to enjoy our work with Greenville County Schools and the staff at Roper Mountain Science Center, most recently, winning the design for the new Environmental Science & Sustainability Building. In partnership with New York-based, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP), we submitted initial plans and renderings that led to the award of the project.

Relying heavily on visible and tactile sustainable design techniques, the intent is for the building to be low impact and the structure to serve as a teaching tool. The new building will feature specialized exhibit designs that aid in teaching sustainable living, water conservation, and animal care, with flexible classroom spaces, to support the Center’s STEAM-based curriculum. Additionally, an open dining facility, living wall and teaching kitchen will promote health and wellness through plant cultivation, food preparation and best practices in farm-to-table dining.

Enjoy these conceptual renderings of the new Environmental Science & Sustainability Building and stay tuned as the design develops!


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

To kick it off: Gotta Have the Right Owner!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

The nature of good design is in not presuming the answer at the beginning of the process. Design is an iterative process that evolves after a period of inquiry, dialogue, and information gathering. Possible solutions are tested, refined, erased, recombined, prototyped, and tested again. The beginning of the design process can feel uncertain even frenetic as ideas are “tried on for size” then refined or discarded. If the end product is known or presumed, then design and innovation have little hope. The critical role of the Owner is to trust that the process with the Right Architect (more on that later) will arrive at the optimal solution.

The “right” owner is the project’s advocate, the anchor for the WHY are we doing this? WHY are we investing precious time and human resources in this project? Great owners can articulate a mission statement that says what the organization does and why they do it. The Right Owner is engaged in a meaningful endeavor, be it raising a family, teaching children, building community, staging theatrical events, gathering for worship, or serving awesome food. The Right Owner is driven by the optimism that the future holds an as yet unknown solution that can be found through the design process.

Architects refer to their clients as “Owners”. Owner is a good word. The owner, be it an individual, committee or board acting as a fiduciary for the end-user, “owns” the possibilities and liabilities of the project for the long term. By comparison, architects are engaged for a brief but formative season in the life of a building, shepherding the Owner through the design and construction process. The Right Owner can dream a little (or a lot), has faith in the power of good design, and allows the design process to unveil the best response.

For those who find the design process to be unfamiliar territory it is our task, as architects, to develop trust in small steps. Fostering relationships that lead to meaningful dialogue with owners will help frame a mission and vision for desired outcomes. New information or changes in the project requirements will often present opportunities to test and improve the design. With a strong Architect/Owner foundation, solutions are adapted and developed, increasing the Owner’s confidence in the design process.

In the Netflix original series The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, there is a scene where an architect voices over panoramic video of a beautiful house in a remote desert location and says “There is always a moment when you feel fear. It’s our role. We are Architects.”

The answer to fear is trusting the design process to lead to a beautiful solution as we step into the unknown.

Read Part II: Gotta Have the Right Program! (<–Click here)


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Kirk Craig, one of CGD’s co-founders, used to say there are six ‘gotta have’ factors for a great project. You’ve gotta have:

the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect.

I call it “Kirk’s Paradigm”. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

We are kicking off the series with ‘Gotta Have the Right Owner’. (<– click here)

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

The new fountain inn advanced manufacturing high school

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With the success of manufacturing in South Carolina, the state has been abuzz with demand for skilled workers to fill the growing number of jobs in the field. To help meet this demand and serve the future needs of our growing community, Greenville County Schools (GCS) recently announced plans for a new high school located in Fountain Inn.

GCS has commissioned Craig Gaulden Davis (CGD), in partnership with Perkins + Will, to design this new cutting edge facility.  The new school will feature a project-based, STEAM educational program that teaches specialized skills needed for the growing number of advanced manufacturing jobs. Plans for this innovative educational program will be tuned to engage students in the classroom and in specialized lab environments. State-of-the-art technology for courses in mechatronics, CNC machining, and robotics will give students a glimpse into the world of advanced manufacturing and its viability as a fulfilling career path.

CGD is currently in the early stages of programming spaces for the new facility. Through this process we will be working closely with industry partners to develop collaborative learning spaces for the advanced manufacturing curriculum.

Stay tuned for more information regarding Fountain Inn High School’s special programming as design continues!

CGD Travels: Stu’s Seattle Heatmap

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  1. Pike Place Market – Start the day off right and jump on the buzz wagon of visitors, vendors, street performers &, ‘when in Rome’, coffee from the original Starbucks.
  2. Seattle Central Libary – You might not think to visit a library on vacation, however, this one is a post-modern work of library wonder – the light, the geometry, the scale – a show stopper among many Seattle attractions.
  3. Chihuly Garden & the Space Needle – With one local Chihuly sculpture here in Greenville, SC, visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass under the Space Needle was an obvious ‘must see’. Experiencing the variety of forms and details in a large, localized body of Chihuly’s work was magnificent – each glass element tells a tale in the natural setting of the gardens. On up to The Observation Deck, we found the Space Needle is undergoing a massive renovation called the Century Project. “The renovation aims to reveal the historic tower’s internal structure and harken back to the original conceptual sketches, all while expanding and improving its views” according to www.spaceneedle.com. Meanwhile, the restaurant is completely closed, undoubtedly no small feat to phase and sequence a renovation with their kind of foot traffic.
  4. Starbucks Roastery Reserve & Tasting Room – An impressive example of architecture & branding, this new Starbucks concept was methodically detailed from copper clad equipment and merchandise displays to reflective glass in the bathroom that overlooks the roasting room to leather wrapped handrails. Housed in a renovated historic building, Starbucks has adeptly blended old and new architecture to create an experiential showcase of coffee for their fans.
  5. Amazon Go – An unexpected spectacle, we stumbled upon three glowing, geodesic-like orbs that are part of Amazon’s campus. These urban botanical gardens are primarily for employees but, even from the outside, allow one to re-imagine the urban fabric of a corporate campus.

Thanks for reading and many safe travels!


Additional Recommendations:

Breakfast – Biscuit Bitch

Lunch – Pike Place Chowder

Snack – Piroshky Piroshky

Drink – Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Happy Hour – Radiator Whiskey

Dinner – The Pink Door

MLK Day 2018 at Triune Mercy Center

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This past MLK Day, our entire staff had the opportunity to step away from the whir of the office for an afternoon and offer a couple small acts of service. Knowing our abilities to carry out these tasks were likely to improve with full stomachs, the first stop was lunch at Greenville’s renowned Tommy’s Country Ham House. Just across the Ham House parking lot, an equally lauded Greenville institution, Triune Mercy Center, has been nourishing the physical and spiritual needs of our city for years. Assigned duties fitting for a group of designers whose vocation prescribes order and material integrity in the built environment, we took time to organize Triune’s expansive food pantry and repair dozens of pew hymnal racks in the Center’s turn of the century chapel.

Our hope is that these and similar undertakings in addition to our established approach to design integrity demonstrate our firm’s collective concern for our community and spur on further such deeds in and out of the office.

Triune Mercy Center is a much needed resource in our community; working alongside the homeless population in Greenville, SC they offer hot meals, laundry, groceries, medical aid, access to art making, counseling and rehabilitation with the help of numerous community partners.


Concept to Construction: ACTC

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“The mission of Anderson Districts I & II Career and Technology Center (ACTC) is to prepare students for successful careers and post-secondary education through quality instruction.”

To see ACTC meet its full potential, a 5,000 square foot conference center was conceived to support the school’s 19 programs that range from robotics and automotive technology to graphic communication and the culinary arts. The flexibility of this new building will provide environments for students to interface with industry partners, a critical component for accessing the most relevant information with hands-on experience.

The new space will also serve as a gathering and learning place for civil service agencies such as the fire and police department as well as adult education classes. Located at the entry of campus, the conference building can host functions with up to 160 people while maintaining separation for activities outside of the student realm.

Floor to ceiling glass storefront walls facing a wooded area and clerestory windows create a bright environment for meetings and learning. Additionally, the building will be a teaching tool for sustainable design including optimum solar orientation, photovoltaic panels with electronic monitoring and a bio swale for storm water retainage.

The November 2017 Newsletter

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We work with wonderful contractors and, recently, helped design Mavin Construction’s new office space. Additionally, we are sharing our work in Evans, Georgia, revealing some details about the new Columbia County Performing Arts Center. Enjoy!

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October News

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October was jaaaaam packed! Instagram is a great way to keep up with the goings-on but we cherry-picked a few tasty nuggets to give y’all a little taste:

Neville Hall debuted at Presbyterian College, Greenville native/West Coast transplant, Kate Barton, joined the team as our Creative Coordinator, and we have some big news about a new Greenville County School District project!

Sign up for our newsletter here!


Restoring Neville Hall at Presbyterian College

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The architectural icon of Presbyterian College (PC) in Clinton, South Carolina is Neville Hall. The domed, Georgian Revival style centerpiece of the historic liberal arts campus was designed by noted South Carolina architect Charles Coker Wilson and made its stately appearance in 1907. Neville Hall has served PC in multiple capacities over the years, leaving a sense of nostalgia for those who have passed through its doors.

Commissioned to restore the grandeur of the original design, Hong Kong firms launched an intensive study of the building’s condition and historical significance, paying particular attention to the central rotunda that had been concealed by decades of renovations. Working closely with faculty, administration and board members to execute this dream, the rotunda’s majestic volume now connects each floor to the octagonal main entrance and floods the interior with natural light. The dazzling geometry of the sculpted ceiling, arched windows, ornamental railings and custom chandelier provide a remarkable composition of architectural delight.

Chicago interior designer Georges was challenged to provide a sensitive addition to the back of the historic structure, activating the green space that defines the heart of campus and to provide additional academic space and a new student lounge. Named the Cornelson Center, the addition features a stone and glass entrance portico that honors the character of the original building while asserting a more contemporary design. The interior décor features updated finishes and furnishings with upgraded mechanical, electrical, lighting and technology systems to establish a crisp, clean, state-of-the-art aesthetic. As a tasteful link to Neville Hall, a portion of the original façade and rear entrance is prominently preserved in the stairwell adjacent to the student lobby.

Though a century of architectural methods and materials have passed, the spatial experience between old and new is intentionally seamless as it parallels the narrative of Presbyterian College’s academic foundation and continued commitment to cultivating subsequent generations of scholars.

The September 2017 Newsletter

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The September newsletter celebrates 5 of our most dedicated team members. Their brief bios give a glimpse into the lives and legacies of CEO Edward T. Zeigler, Kim Poole, David Dixon, Scott Simmons and John Hansen.

In CGD project news, we cover the opening of Fleming Hall at Converse College and offer a design preview of Level 10, Rick Erwin Dining Group’s restaurant atop the new AC Hotel in Spartanburg.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter here.


Celebrating Five Momentous Anniversaries

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Ed Zeigler joined the firm in 1983 and within two years became a Principal to help transition leadership to the next generation. His business acumen was integral to shepherding the firm through the multi-year recession and, throughout, he has maintained CGD’s legacy of integrity, cultivating culture and community through the practice of architecture.

During his 34 year tenure, Ed has masterfully fostered a team of expert designers who contribute to the continued success of CGD projects. Ed has been actively involved in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 1980, serving as president of AIA Greenville, AIA SC and as South Atlantic Regional Director on the national AIA Board from 2008 to 2010. Ed has chaired and planned three state conferences, one regional conference and served as Education Chair of the 2012 National AIA Convention. He was appointed the AIA Liaison to the American Institute of Architecture Students (2009-2011), a personal highlight, as he mentored young architects entering the profession. His commitment to the profession was acknowledged in 2010 as the recipient of the Medal of Distinction by the AIASC Chapter and in 2014 when Ed was elevated to the College of Fellows, the highest and most prestigious AIA membership honor.

Regarded locally for his community involvement, Ed is former chair and still active with the Art in Public Places Commission and a member of the board of Artisphere. Ed’s life interests in gardening, painting and continued dedication to his family contribute to the growing portfolio of Zeigler’s life work.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, SC Independent Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, Poinsett Club Board of Governors, Administrative Team at Augusta Road Baptist Church

Ed’s Notable 5:  South Carolina Children’s Theatre | Greenville, SC

Brookgreen Gardens Visitor’s Center | Murrells Inlet, SC

City of Greenville, SC | Master Plan, Pedrick’s Garden, Falls Park, TD Convention Center

Younts Conference Center | Furman University | Greenville, SC

Worship Center | First Baptist Church | North Augusta, SC


Kim Poole joined Craig Gaulden Davis in 1985 and, as a fun fact, is exactly 32 days younger than the firm. Kim joined when she was 28 years old and the two of them rather grew up together.

Kim has a background from the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural and Engineering Technology from Greenville Technical College. She can tackle just about anything that heads her direction and over the past 32 years she has worked in all areas of CGD administration.

Her personal interests include audiophile vinyl and anything related to the automobile industry; she served on the board of the EURO Auto Festival for 13 years.

Kim has spent over half of her life supporting CGD’s growth, has been an asset to the design team and is one of the firm’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders.

Notable Achievement: Helped usher the firm into the digital age, from typewriters with carbon paper and 8” floppy disks to thumb drives and the internet.


David Dixon has enjoyed a long marriage with CGD.

After returning from the honeymoon of his real marriage, also his first day at CGD, David has contributed to all parts of the practice since 1987.  His deep commitment to the firm’s philosophy of quality design and professional practice have steered his passion for three decades.

His clients in civic, education, commerce, ministry and residential sectors appreciate David’s personal commitment to collaborative design and the skillful execution of ideas.

As a child, David took an early interest in building and architectural drawing.  His creative instincts, rooted in a deep appreciation for classic literature, music, world history and human philosophy incline him toward rigorous analysis and problem solving as a method to express complex ideas in understandable terms. David builds trust with his clients as he seeks to express ideas that resolve the tensions between aspirational and financial constraints that are inherently a part of every design exercise.

Named as a principal of the firm in 1990, David has been a critical part of the firm’s second generation leadership and serves a variety of professional, civic and cultural organizations with the same passions that he brings to his work at CGD.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Public Library Association Conference Presenter, SC Library Association Conference Presenter, AIA South Atlantic Regional Conference Committee Member, Leadership Greenville Participant, Liberal Arts Leadership Program Participant, Riverplace Festival Board Director, Give Me A Brake Campaign (Greenville) and First Presbyterian Church Elder

David’s Notable 5: Neville Hall | Presbyterian College | Clinton, SC

Metropolitan Library | Atlanta-Fulton County Library System, GA

First Presbyterian Church | Greenville, SC

Junior Housing Complex | Converse College | Spartanburg, SC

Cryovac Corporate Headquarters | Duncan, SC


Scott Simmons has played a key role at CGD in the design of libraries, churches and cultural buildings, as well as a range of beautiful residences since 1987. Scott approaches architecture from a material perspective, understanding building design as an assemblage of parts and their physical requirements. “Architecture is a thing.” He views details and technical requirements as opportunities to add clarity to the overall design. Scott’s delight in architecture is akin to solving puzzles, when the care of designing the pieces translates to a beautifully simple built solution. This approach often leads him to discover innovative answers that not only win awards, but also serve the client in unexpected ways. With poise and 30 years of design experience, Scott describes architecture as a dialogue:

“We listen to our client, the context of the building, the constraints and opportunities the program presents, then we draw until the building speaks for itself.”

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, International Code Council, First Presbyterian Church Elder and Former Cubmaster.

Scott’s Notable 5: Christ Church Episcopal School Chapel | Greenville, SC

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation | Highlands, NC

McGlothlin Center for the Arts | Emory & Henry College | Emory, VA

Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church | Augusta, GA

Devils Fork State Park | Oconee County, SC


John Hansen joined the firm in 1997 and was named an Associate in 2014 and Principal in 2017.  With expertise in Religious and Cultural Design, Historic Preservation and Sustainability, John is a recognized leader in all facets of the firm’s activities, from master planning and design to construction administration. His participation in state and national offices of the US Green Building Council demonstrate his dedication and execution to forward thinking design can be seen in Greenville’s Kroc Center, Heritage Park Amphitheatre in Simpsonville and the development of the SC Children’s Theatre’s new headquarters. John recently completed the 43rd class of Leadership Greenville, setting him up as a design influencer for Greenville’s future development.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, USGBC-SE, USGBC-SC, GEAR UP Southeast Leadership Summit Chairman

John’s Notable 5: John C. Calhoun State Building | Columbia, SC

South Carolina Appeals Court and Justice Department | Columbia, SC

Florence Little Theatre | Florence, SC

Prince of Peace Catholic Church | Taylors, SC

York County Courthouse | York, SC


McGlothlin Center Anchors Arts Program at Emory & Henry

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The surrounding landscaping now established and the building now sitting familiarly on the south campus slope, The Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts will open its doors on the second full academic year at Emory and Henry College this upcoming semester. CGD provided full design services for the facility.

Per the College’s ribbon cutting press release, “The Center for the Arts is a 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility designed for LEED silver energy efficiency standards. It consists of a 461-seat proscenium stage theatre and fly system and a 120-seat black box studio theatre. The building also includes dressing rooms, production areas, a modern art gallery, offices and studios for the campus radio station, WEHC 90.7 FM.”

The exterior is of brick and precast stone, in keeping with the historic, rural Virginia campus’s aesthetic. The overall building form gracefully steps down a steep embankment, conforming to the undulating terrain common to the campus and region. Funded in part by a Department of Agriculture grant, the center is meant to serve both students of Emory & Henry and the rural community at large for decades to come.

You can experience a virtual tour of the facility, both inside and out, by clicking here.

Enriched Education Through Thoughtful Design

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Craig Gaulden Davis is designing exceptional learning spaces that are transforming what facility design can contribute to education.  One recent example is the media center renovation at the Legacy Charter Early College Middle and High School in Greenville.  Once a dark, unwelcoming space, it has been reimagined as an open and bright collection of learning centers that promote connection, flexibility and discovery.

The first step was to integrate the academic needs and purposes expressed by school leadership with cutting edge developments in education facility design focused on the way students learn and conduct research today, and anticipating developments in the future.  Legacy is an Early College Program for grades 6-12, meaning that the school promotes a college-going culture where every student can develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to attend college.

Our design team proposed making the media center a campus center, drawing together all learning components.  The design features multiple layout configurations, supporting students working alone, in small groups, and within their middle and high school cohorts.  As in a college setting, the spaces are technically enriched, flexible and collaborative with colorful writable walls and flexible furniture to support comfortable study as well as focused, engaged reading.  Digital technology is essential developing information literacy skills but must not take the place of a carefully selected collection of books.  At Legacy, the collection of printed books lines the back walls on the old shelves, preserved to tie the rich history of the old to the new facility.

The May 2017 Newsletter

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The Standard

In the May newsletter, we take a look back at downtown Greenville church renovations, the revitalized downtown Greenville Christian Science Reading Room, and our latest project with the Rick Erwin Dining Group – The Standard in Spartanburg. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.